Congress lodges over 150 police complaints against demolition of Secretariat mosques, temple

Hyderabad, August 25: Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, hundreds of Congress activists on Tuesday lodged complaints with the Saifabad Police Station demanding FIR against the demolition of two mosques and one temple in the Secretariat premises.

“We have lodged fresh complaints demanding registration of a criminal case against Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Wakf Board Chairman Mohammed Saleem and others who are responsible for the demolition of places of worship to facilitate the construction of a new Secretariat building. The demolition of two mosques and a temple was illegal as the land where these places of worship existed was not owned by the State Government although they were located in the Secretariat premises. The Masjid-e-Moatamadi and Masjid-e-Hashmi were Wakf properties and one of them was a heritage building. They were protected under various Central laws. Therefore, their demolition was totally illegal and those responsible for it must be booked,” Abdullah Sohail said after submitting a complaint at the Saifabad Police Station.

Abdullah Sohail informed that nearly 500 Congress activists were planning to lodge separate complaints at the police station. However, senior officials have requested the Congress leader not to come in large numbers in view of Covid-19 situation and also due to shortage of staff at the Saifabad Police Station. Responding to their request, only top leaders including Hyderabad City Congress President M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav, TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin, Hyderabad Congress Minorities Dept Chairman Sameer Waliullah and a few others visited the police station to submit the complaints in person. Remaining Congress workers lodged their complaints through online mode.

“Two mosques and a temple were demolished on 8th of July and Hyderabad Congress Minorities Dept Chairman Sameer Waliullah and TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin lodged a complaint on 10th July. A few days later, I also lodged a separate complaint demanding immediate registration of FIR. But all those complaints have been rejected by the police and we were informed that they are not ‘maintainable’. Therefore, we’ve decided to lodge fresh complaints. We’ve been told by a few police officials that they have been directed by their higher ups not to register an FIR against the demolition of Secretariat mosques. This is illegal and unconstitutional. The demolition of places of worship is an offence and it is the duty of the police to register FIR if someone lodges a complaint,” Abdullah Sohail said.

The Congress leader said that the Telangana State Wakf Board should’ve lodged a complaint against those responsible for the demolition of two mosques. But the Wakf Board is totally silent on the issue although its Chairman Saleem is giving misleading statements claiming that the mosques will be reconstructed. “Our demand is quite clear and precise. We want both the mosques and a temple to be reconstructed at the same place without any delay. We will not allow construction of a new Secretariat until the government reconstructs all three places of worship at the same place. There will be no compromise on the issue. We will not fall for any fake assurances by the Chief Minister or anyone,” he said.

“The demolition of Secretariat mosques is no different from the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Unlike Ayodhya, there is no dispute between two communities. In Hyderabad, both Muslim and Hindu communities are fighting against an arrogant Chief Minister for restoration of their places of worship. CM KCR has hurt the religious sentiments of both the communities just to satisfy his superstitious beliefs. Just the way a case was registered against demolition of Babri Masjid, we want a case to be registered against the demolition of Secretariat mosques and temple. We will explore all legal options and will not rest until the State Government begins reconstruction of two mosques and a temple at their original places in the Secretariat,” Abdullah Sohail told reporters.

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